I was reading various members opinions on journals and how they show up on the sidebars. Depending on the topic, a journal can into a discussion. To some it can be a problem, because when a discussion develops on a journal, it prevents other journals and other activities from showing up on the sidebar(s). Each community prefers to read stuff related to the community, understandibly, and it is becoming a problem when a journal not related to the community shows up on the sidebar.
Rather than deleting such journals, I was thinking of a few things that may help:
- When someone posts a topic, have the "join community" box was left unchecked by default. As a result I may inadvertantly join a community when I just intended to make one post. Let's say for instance I got a cold and posted int he cold and flu community. I don't want to become a member of that community. I think that will cut down on people accidently joining communities they don't plan to be members of.
- journals can show up on the sidebar, but I believe it would save a lot of sidebar space if comments did not show up. That way it doesn't draw attention to members who may not be interested in reading the journal. Let's say for example someone is a member of the pain management forum and they are considering a narcotic med as a possible med for their pain. Members in the addiction community would probably prefer that journal not show up in the sidebar of their community. Same thing if it were a post about relationships showing up in the breat cancer community. Members in the breast cancer community will probably prefer reading journals related to cancer. Right now as it is set up, all it takes is someone who happens to be a member in such community to post on it, then it shows up on the sidebar.
- If a comment gets removed by a moderator or admin on someone's journal, I believe it would help if the post stayed there, without the words, but was edited to say "Post removed by admin". That way people don't get upset with the author of the journal thinking their comment was removed by the author. I have been blamed in the past for removing comments I didn't remove and I've seen it happen on other journals.
I hope these things can be taken into consideration. I think it will help resove some of the conflicts that occur on the website.
Thank you for your consideration. I noticed another: When I hit "watch this journal" It doesn't watch just that one journal. It watches the latest journal the user submits and leaves all journals that person created as "watched"
I think it would help if there was a choice to watch just a specific journal or all journals a member submits. I believe the "watch journal" feature should be used in lieu of comments showing on the sidebar. If people want to keep up with a certain journal, they can always choose to watch it.
And if people want to make "public" announcements or discussions they can always use any of the forum discussions to post their comment. By removing journal comments from the sidebar, it should hopefully cut down on journals being used as public discussions.
I am glad you brought this up MJ.. I was just thinking today that it kind of stinks when a person posts a journal and there are 100 comments on it, it takes up the whole "recent activity" bar. It would be a nice idea to maybe have a "journals recent activity" bar! It really makes it pointless to see if anyone else has posted anything else on the recent activity bar!!
Another thing people could take into consideration.... if they have a journal and it gets so many hits from Various members then maybe they could take it into a social community. What is the difference?....lol Or make it private to begin with or at least after so many hits.
I agree.... I actually really like the idea of a "recent journal activity" bar. Maybe it could also just show on the sidebar that a member has started a journal, but not necessarily everytime a comment is posted on it. Good suggestion MJ, and good point Patty.
I'm a sidebar wh@re, so I can't really comment on this issue. Except to say that I like it the way it is.
As for "public" announcements being posted in a forum, unless they really pertain to the subject matter of the forum in question, they simply clutter the forum with unrelated chit chat. The proper place for unrelated announcements is actually best placed in your journal, your mood, or in the Social communities.
You know I stopped short of that idea of breaking a journal up and making it into a discussion moved into the medhelp social. The only thing that kept me from suggesting that was the thought people likely start a journal discussion up because they may want the control of being able to hide it later, especially if the subject started off being something personal.
I've seen journals abused. I've seen people start off a good discussion and then if they don't want a member to participate in that discussion, all they have to do is block them or delete their comments... Putting personal feelings aside, that is the author's choice to do it. But I find it to build strife up and divide members and cause problems with how members get along with eachother. I believe there was more unity overall when people used the forums for discussion over using journals.
I think the reason why journals have turned into discussions is because they show up on the sidebar. Without that, journals wouldn't normally get attention outside the people who know the author. Most likely these would be friends of the author or who share a common interest, such as fellow members in the community.
But as it is set up, one can either make journals friends only, which is okay, but excludes people outside the friendlist who may be helpful. Or make it public, which gives a person a good chance to get support, but at the same time get attention from members who may not be as supportive. If the topic is controversial, then it's bound to catch a lot of attention.
The sidebar has its purpose, but I'd prefer to see a variety of activity. If the sidebar is taken up with a discussion doesn't relate to me or for whatever reasons can't really participate, I'd like to see other choices.
Overall I think it will help to remove comments from the sidebar, but not when a journal is created. That way people can see the options and if they want to check on the journal they can. Also it gives more people a chance to have their journal looked at. Because right now if a member isn't really well known or popular, chances are their journal will get overlooked if there is another discussion taking up the sidebar.
peekawho, I don't believe journals were intended to be announcements to begin with. Just the sidebar has turned it into a place for announcements. Maybe there can be a separate feature that can enable people to make announcements, but not be on their profile. maybe an offshoot from each community, sort of like the health pages?
Wait just as I was typing this another idea came: Could the number of replies show under each journal entry on the sidebar? That way if the number goes up, then one knows that it got a new reply. Maybe that journal can be "bumped" up to the top of the sidebar.
That way people who watch the sidebar can see the recent activity without it clogging the sidebar.
I like the journals on the sidebar too. I am referring to the ones that really is just opening a journal just for chit chat and get a million replies. (why not announce in a journal that they are going to have an open discussion for "friends who would like to participate at such a time and then make it "for friends only".. ) lol Sometimes I don't have time to go through all my friends pages to see if they have started a new journal. However, if the journal is a good discussion that is related to a health issue or something to the like then that is fine. And I really like the ideas of bumping up the journal with __ many hits to the top, but just not have every reply posted. Or not have any replies posted at all. Or photo comments, just have when someone posts photos.
It would be nice if it could all be regulated. Like how they removed the "so and so left so and so a note". That was a good idea!
Oh yeah I remember when notes were on the sidebar...so GLAD they took that off.
Not every journal opens to be a discussion. Some of them just end up that way. If people have differing opinions, then it's bound to be a discussion. Some people may like the discussion, others may not. At least it won't take up so much Real estate.
I'm glad you like the idea of bumping the journal to the top. That idea just dawned on me after reading Peek's answer.
TPeople can still watch the sidebar and not miss out, but it would give more "options" Not everyone uses the "People" link on the top, so they may not be aware of the latest journals.
On a semi off topic note I was joking with a fellow medhelp friend who also likes insects. I was very tempted to start a discussion related to a photo of a few Giant Madagascar Hissing Roaches. As noble as it sounded, not everyone on medhelp may not enjoy it as much if it were to take up the sidebar in at least two, maybe three or four communities. There's quite a bit of chance involved once you click "Comment on photo" any time it appears on the sidebar, lol.
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